Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked
the principal secretary of transport department to take
action against three RTO officers for their alleged
involvement in a scam related to evasion of customs duty in
the import of spare parts of bikes.
The court has turned a newspaper report on the racket
into a PIL.
The report in the Marathi daily `Lokmat` said that the
racketeers import spare parts of foreign-made superbikes/sport
bikes and sell the bikes after assembling them in India. In
the process, they manage to evade customs duty.
According to advocate Aspi Chenoy, appointed as amicus
curiae (friend of the court) to assist the court, transport
secretary`s report on this affair indicted three officials
with the Regional Transport Office: A R Shaikh, E G Khandale
and Bajrang Kharmate.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar
and Justice A M Khanwilkar today expressed surprise that even
after newspaper report, no action had been taken.
The court ordered action against the three officers, who
are still working with RTO, "to prevent further loss to the
Advocate General Ravi Kadam submitted that CID inquiry
into the case was already underway.
The court has sought report of the inquiry, as well as
reports prepared by transport commissioner, transport
secretary and department of revenue intellignece in this case.
The newspaper report said that RTO officers, who were
hand-in-glove with the racketeers, registered these bikes on
the basis of bogus passports.
Kharmate, who was with Pen subdivision of RTO in Raigad
district, alone registered some 400 bikes; while in Andheri
subdivision, Shaik registered 124 bikes and Khandale
registered 43 bikes.
Advocate Chenoy said in the court that the report
indicting these officers "were endorsed by the concerned
minister" but still no action had been taken yet.
The case will now come up for hearing on September 17.